What happens to potential energy when a ball is tossed into the air?

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Potential energy is a form of energy that is related to an object's position. It can be mathematically expressed as:

P.E. = mgh

Where P.E. is the potential energy, m is mass of the object, h is its height and g is the acceleration due to gravity. 

Thus, the higher the position (or higher the height), the higher an object's potential energy will be.

When we toss a ball into the air, its height increases and thus, its potential energy increases as well. This increase in potential energy is at the expense of kinetic energy that was supplied by tossing it up. As the ball rises, it loses velocity and ultimately comes to a velocity of 0 m/s. This is the location of maximum potential energy. After this instant, the ball falls back towards the earth and loses height, thus losing potential energy (all of which converts back to kinetic energy and/or is lost to air resistance). 

Thus, when a ball is tossed up, its potential energy increases, reaches a maximum height and then starts decreasing as the ball falls back to the ground.

Hope this helps. 

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